Figures released by the totaljobs Barometer show an 8% growth in the number of jobs available across the UK for the first three months of 2014 compared to Q1 2013. This has triggered a fall in competition for jobs, with the number of applications per job falling by 2% over the same period.

Sector wise, there has been a healthy 22% increase in jobs within education compared to last year. Other areas that have grown include property (19%) and graduate jobs (11%). Banking, insurance and finance jobs have stayed fairly static, only growing 1% in Q1 2014 compared to the first three months of 2013.

Catering and hospitality has seen a 10% decline in job opportunities over the past year and 15% compared to the last quarter, although this is unsurprising due to the level of opportunities during the December party period. Similarly, jobs in travel, leisure and tourism jobs are down by 22% compared to the same period last year.

John Salt, Website Director at, commented on the findings: “Whilst it is great to see job opportunities within education and property rise, it’s troubling to see sectors linked to entertainment and tourism struggle. These industries should pick up over the next couple of months, as warmer weather sets in and more people visit from abroad”.

Despite a general increase in job opportunities across the UK, competition for jobs in some sectors remains fierce. The oil, gas and alternative energy sector saw a rise in applications per job of 24%. Applications for jobs in the public sector remained competitive, with applications for jobs in health and nursing, and the public sector rising by 7% and 9% respectively.

Some areas of the UK enjoyed significant growth. Job opportunities grew the most in the East Midlands, which reported a 19% increase in jobs compared to this time last year. Sectors which grew the most included customer services and graduate jobs, which increased by 28% and 29% respectively.  In Scotland, roles in banking, insurance and finance increased by 35% compared to the same quarter in 2013, which accounted for much of Scotland’s overall 4% boost to job numbers.

John Salt continues: “Job opportunities are opening up across the UK, in industries such as education and property. Graduate jobs are flourishing too, which is promising for young people leaving university this summer.”